I appreciate The Lens' laserlike focus on subjects of critical interest to the New Orleans area. The more eyes watching and reporting on these subjects, the better for the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.
In 2012 and 2014, the state ethics board charged Paulette Bruno and Doris Roché-Hicks with breaking state law because five family members worked at charter schools they run. Years later, the charges remain unresolved.
Last year, the Orleans Parish School Board claimed that students at Robert Russa Moton Charter School got an advance look at LEAP test questions. After reviewing its own investigation, the board now says that’s not the case.
It will cost $30 million to bring students to and from public schools this year, compared to $18 million the year before Katrina. The increase appears to be a consequence of citywide enrollment and the shift from a centrally-run school system. A few schools are working together to negotiate busing contracts.
In three recent testing years, 33 public schools have been flagged for problems and possible cheating on standardized tests — 12 more than once. A testing expert says these irregularities indicate cheating by teachers and administrators, who have a lot riding on their students’ performance.
Robert Moton Charter School’s operating budget is increasing 53 percent, propelled by a rising enrollment and the school’s first full year in a larger building. Spending in the 2012-2013 school year is anticipated to be $2.7 million, compared to last year’s $1.7 million. The school moved in February to a building on Gentilly Boulevard, leased from the Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans.
Robert Mussa Moton Charter School has canceled its public budget hearing, according to principal Paulette Bruno. A Lens reporter went to review the school’s budget, by law made publicly available 10 days in advance of the hearing, to find there was no copy available for public review.